Archive for October 5th, 2011

This dish is effortless, provided that your scallops are unsoaked. Cheap scallops are treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) to force them to absorb water. When they cook, the bonds that hold the water in suspension break and the soaking liquid comes pouring out, causing the scallops to steam, which makes it impossible to sear them. To make sure that they have not been treated, look for scallops that are slightly gray, or beige, or pink – anything but pure white. Have your fire as hot as possible, and cook the scallops quickly. They should still be a little soft in the center when they come off the grill.

Prep: 5 minutes
(plus 40 minutes for garlic paste)
Grill: 6 minutes.

– Clean grill screen
– Long-handled tongs.

Gas: Direct heat, high (500°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch bed, 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

Oil for coating grill screen
1¼ pounds large, wild-caught sea scallops (about 16 scallops)
1/3 cup Roasted Garlic Paste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.

1. Heat the grill as directed. Put the grill screen on the grill and coat it with oil.
2. Toss the scallops with 2 tablespoons of the garlic paste and the olive oil in a small bowl until evenly coated.
3. Grill the scallops on the screen, uncovered, until they are lightly browned and feel springy to the touch but still a little soft in the center, about 6 minutes, turning halfway through.
4. Serve with a little of the remaining roasted garlic paste mixture spooned on top of each scallop.

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